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National Journal Debuts Redesigned Magazine

Redesign Marks Next Phase in Reimagining of Larger National Journal Brand

June 20, 2014
Washington, D.C. (June 19, 2014) - National Journal today debuts the redesign of its flagship magazine, which has been reinvented as Washington's definitive magazine of story-telling about politics, policy, government, and ideas for those living and working inside as well as outside the nation's capital. Under the leadership of editor Richard Just, the redesign of the 45-year-old publication is the next phase in a larger reimagining of the National Journal brand, which began last October with the successful relaunch of the website. Since then readership has increased; for 2014 year to date, website traffic is up 57%, mobile usage has grown 20%, and there has been a year over year 118% growth in revenue. The inaugural issue, available today to subscribers and National Journal members, takes a comprehensive look ahead at the 2016 presidential race—the contenders and the people and issues behind them.

"In re-envisioning the magazine, we built on National Journal's foundation of non-partisan intelligent reporting and analysis to come up with a product that emphasizes deeply reported long-form journalism through compelling character-driven narratives about Washington and the world of politics—for thought leaders throughout the country," said Just.

Just describes this vision in a letter from the editor featured in the magazine and online at:

"We have taken a new approach to how we cover Washington both digitally and in print," said Editor-in-Chief Tim Grieve. "In the fall, we were focused on growing our digital presence. Now we are turning to the magazine to provide our audience with in-depth, well-written stories that cover this city in a way that no one else does."


In addition to bolstering the magazine's long-form reporting, Just has updated the format and introduced new features including:

  • The Inner Loop – A front of the book section featuring fun-to-read short narratives about DC and the world of politics.
  • Hyperlocal – This feature, written on the ground by local journalists, looks at how political controversies are playing out in specific towns and communities across the country.
  • One Good Idea – Explores smart, innovative policy ideas being generated by wonks that aren't necessarily getting the attention they should.
  • One Good Book – Takes a look at new political books—and the ideas in them—that may not have gotten the attention they deserve.
  • First-Person – A guest column from those who have worked in politics and policy that offers an honest look at Washington—from those who know the city best.
  • Tactics – A back of the book feature that uses survey data compiled by National Journal's research division to explain how Washington really works.
  • One Good Chart – In each issue, this backpage feature will tell a story about the world of politics or DC using a compelling graphic.

Just, who joined the magazine in March, has expanded the publication's masthead with new talent, including managing editor Amanda Cormier and writers and contributors Michelle Cottle, Nora Caplan-Bricker, Ethan Epstein, Simon Van Zuylen-Wood, and Daniel Libit. They joined those who were already part of National Journal, including deputy editor Andie Coller and magazine writers Tim Alberta, Peter Beinart, Marin Cogan, Shane Goldmacher, and Alex Seitz-Wald.

Designer Joe Heroun was responsible for transforming the look of the magazine. Under Heroun's art direction, the first issue features striking photography and original art to complement the writing. The first new cover, which depicts the long road to the White House, is the work of design firm Heads of State, and fits with the magazine's greater focus on beautiful original artwork, both illustrations and photography.

Meanwhile, National Journal design director Jenny Mazer has created a new format for presenting magazine pieces on the web—an elegant new template that features a parallax treatment with big, bold photography and storytelling tools to be used with all feature magazine pieces. The template also brings with it a new impactful space for advertising that includes a Rising Star Billboard unit for enhanced engagement with readers.

Feature pieces in the new issue include: Peter Beinart's forecast of what a Hillary Clinton presidency would look like; Tim Alberta's profile of Gov. Scott Walker, which explains why he may be a formidable contender in 2016; Marin Cogan's revealing profile of former Gov. Brian Schweitzer; Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson on the future of Republican foreign policy; Simon van Zuylen-Wood on Bernie Sanders and the future of the Democratic Party's left wing; and Shane Goldmacher on Nate Morris, a key adviser to Rand Paul.

In addition to refreshing its various platforms over the last several months, the brand went through a leadership change in March when Tim Hartman was named CEO of the larger National Journal Group and Publisher Poppy MacDonald and Editor in Chief Tim Grieve were each named President.

The new print magazine is available now to National Journal members and subscribers and online at

10 Ways the Redesigned National Journal Ignited the Conversation

Marin Cogan's profile of former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer ignited a media firestorm -- here's MSNBC's Rachel Maddow discussing Cogan's piece "The Gonzo Option."

The Schweitzer piece led The Daily Beast's weekly list of the best longreads online (read it here)

National Journal Editor Richard Just previewed the new issue's broader outlook for the 2016 race for MSNBC's "The Cycle"

Editor-in-Chief Tim Grieve discusses the new magazine in Capital New York's "60-Second Interview"

Poynter highlighted the redesigned magazine's six long-form features (read it here)


Digiday reported on National Journal's approach to long-form content online (read it here)

Hundreds of Capitol Hill staffers joined National Journal to celebrate the redesign over breakfast (see FishbowlDC's re-cap here)


National Journal celebrated with DC influentials over cocktails at Brasserie Beck on K Street





Folio reported on National Journal's totally redesigned concept to coincide with its new direction (read it here)








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